How Development Happens

Coquitlam is fast-growing City in a rapidly developing and changing region. It’s important to manage growth in a way so new development is livable, attractive and contributes positively to the community - while making sure that infrastructure and amenities, like parks, are provided to keep pace with growth.

A Growing & Evolving Community

Have you ever wondered how new houses and neighbourhoods come to be? Coquitlam’s history has been one of constant growth and evolution. Today, Coquitlam is home to more than 144,000 people and is one of the fastest growing cities in Metro Vancouver. We anticipate adding 90,000 new residents over the next 25 years.

The City of Coquitlam has robust plans and policies in place that work together to guide changes that are happening in your neighbourhood.

Planning for Growth

Coquitlam is not only growing rapidly, we are also changing and evolving as we grow. In Coquitlam new growth is primarily focused in three areas:

  • In transit-oriented areas near the SkyTrain such as City Centre, Burquitlam and Lougheed: (50% of growth)
  • On Burke Mountain (21% of growth)
  • In existing neighbourhoods such as Austin Heights and Maillardville (29% of growth)

The Regional Growth Strategy (PDF), Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw work together with the City’s other Plans and Strategies to help shape the future for Coquitlam.

The City often updates the OCP and Zoning Bylaw to better guide new housing and growth, plan for parks and other civic facilities, provide for improved housing and transportation options, integrate new growth into existing neighbourhoods, and maintain a high quality of life for existing and new residents. Please visit the Special Plans and Projects page to learn more about the planning projects currently underway.

Regional Growth Strategy

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (PDF) represents the collective vision for how our region is going to accommodate the 1 million people and over 500,000 jobs that are expected to come to the region in the next 25 years.

Metro 2040 sets out goals, strategies and policies to guide the future growth of the region and provides the land use framework for transportation, economic, housing, utility (water, liquid waste and solid waste), environmental and climate change planning across Metro Vancouver.

Official Community Plan

Coquitlam’s Citywide Official Community Plan (OCP) is the City’s primary planning document, one that provides the vision for and guides to future growth and development. The OCP is divided into four main sections:

  • The Citywide plan sets priorities and addresses issues that affect the entire City
  • Area plans focus on land uses, policies and issues relevant to a particular area of the City. Coquitlam has four Area Plans covering Southwest, City Centre, Northwest and Northeast
  • Neighbourhood Plans that provide a detailed vision for a particular neighbourhood. A neighbourhood plan defines the type and location of housing and commercial buildings in the neighbourhood, identifies natural and recreation areas, plans for needed community facilities, and outlines pedestrian and cycling networks.
  • Urban Design and Development Permit Areas play a key role in implementing City policies as they provide design direction for the form and character of new development, can promote energy and water conservation, help to protect the natural environment and protect development from hazardous conditions.

In addition to providing a vision for the future use of land, the OCP also gives all property in the City a Land Use Designation. Each Land Use Designation in the OCP has a number of Zones from the Zoning Bylaw that could be applied to the property.

Zoning Bylaw

The Zoning Bylaw regulates the present use of land. Zoning is a tool to implement the City’s policies and land use designations as set out in the OCP. All land in the City is assigned a zone under the City’s Zoning Bylaw. The zone on a property specifies permitted uses, the lot sizes, and the density, height and setbacks of buildings.